8 Strategies To Get You Out Of The House When You’re Depressed

One of my strategies for managing chronic depression is getting out of the house every day. When I’m having an episode, most days I open my eyes, sigh with frustration and then begin the battle of my inner dialogue…

“Oh, another day. Time to get out o…”

“… close your eyes and stay in bed – just ten more minutes. Feel how tired you are!”

10 minutes later

“Okay, now I really have to get out of be…”

“…staying in bed won’t hurt anyone. You’ve had a busy few days. Besides, nothing bad can happen if you stay here in your comfortable, warm bed.”

“But, but I don’t want to waste the day…”

… and it continues. I am so glad that after years of unhealthily late sleep-in’s and ridiculously late nights, I’ve learnt;

a) that getting out of bed, despite my feelings is beneficial to my mental health, and

b) I can put strategies in place to make getting out of bed and out of the house every day possible.

So, here are a few strategies:

1. I acknowledge I am blessed to have a part-time job that I love, so three days a week I am obliged to get out of the house, and it has made a massive difference to my mental health. Don’t have a job or can’t be employed? Try volunteering; it’s commitment without the pressure. Before I was well enough to have paid employment, I volunteered at a local kids club, at church and for a mutual-help support group.

2. Organise to have a tea/coffee at a cute cafe least once a week with a ‘no pressure’ friend.

3. Spread out doctors, specialist and support appointments so they are on different days.

4. Access your local community centre or mental health support service. There are plenty of organisations funded by the government who organise activities (e.g. choirs, art lessons, computer tutorials, community gardens and tours) and mutual support groups for people with mental or physical illnesses.

5. Don’t do a massive grocery shop, rather, get what I need for a day or two. This forces you to go out and get a few groceries 3-4 days a week. This has the added benefit of cooking with/eating fresh fruit, veggies and meat.

6. Make bookings! I love going to the theatre and the cinema. Booking tickets in advance can force you out of the house, lest you waste good money on something fun.13987851_1063897257012450_1674396231_o

7. Make a list of all the things you enjoy doing when my mental health is good and give a copy to those in your support network. It can often be obsolete to say, ‘do something you enjoy’ to a depressed person as a symptom of depression is that you can’t think of something you could enjoy. This is where my list comes in handy, it reminds me (and others) of the activities that can get me out of the house/bed and will improve my mood – even if it’s a smidgen, it’s worth it.

8. Give yourself credit where credit is due and don’t be hard on yourself when you do stay in bed or the house all day. Learning to manage mental illness is a long learning process. Write-off a bad day and have an early night because tomorrow is a new day.

I’ll be the first to admit that balancing mental health strategies with physical illnesses can make this harder; for example, I’ve had non-stop dizziness for five days and can’t drive, leave the house or operate machinery (in this case some appliances/hot stovetop).

For these sick or flare-up days, my goal is to get out of bed, brush my teeth and eat my meals or watch Netflix while sitting in the sun. If I can add a shower, play with some pastels, paint, read, welcome a visitor, or walk to the mailbox, it’s a productive day.

Then when I get better, or my flare up ends, I’ll start leaving the house again.

What helps you get out of the house when you body is telling you otherwise?

22 thoughts on “8 Strategies To Get You Out Of The House When You’re Depressed

  1. snowdroplets says:

    I absolutely agree with you. I remind myself I can’t listen to the depression. It lies! It’s so important to get up, shower, get dressed, and get out of the house to do something. I enjoy walking. Even if I don’t feel like it, I’ll make myself go and I’ll enjoy it once I’m going. Having an active puppy that needs to get her wiggles out helps force me to walk!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Stetson says:

    I just accomplished #3 🙂 set appointments with all three of my docs throughout the week, going to triple team the Illness. Great advice.


  3. asouthernceliac says:

    It’s silly, but Pokemon Go has actually helped me get out of the house more. It gives me a “goal” without the stress of, you know, actually having a goal with deadlines and things. We’ve also enrolled our baby in a Baby Bounce (music and story time) class once a week, so that gets me out of the house and into the city every Saturday. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • AlexandraEllen says:

      I have heard that about Pokemon Go for so many people! My phone, sadly, doesn’t have the capabilities and my ability to walk some days is ruined by the chronic pain… but as a childhood Pokemon fan, it’s exciting to hear so many poeple using it as a motivator!


  4. The Showers of Blessing says:

    Hi, do you go by Annie? I congratulate you for have 8 strategies to deal with depression. You are a very positive person for someone who has chronic depression. I like to come back to visit and hear more about how you’re doing. Thank you for the like of my new post. Please come back to visit soon.


  5. cherylmendoza says:

    I agree, getting out of the house helps to clear my mind. Unfortunately it is the last thing I think of at times. I think that I am going to get much more intentional about it….going to use some of those ideas.


  6. ibsomebody says:

    Great post! This is all very practical, and I love practical.

    After I had rotator cuff surgery and was not allowed to drive for six weeks, I was hurting and bored. I would ask my wife to take me somewhere (usually shopping). It meant so much to me to get out of the house. It was kind of agitating to my wife, but it helped me A LOT to deal with my situation.

    Even now that I’m recovered from my surgery and have retired from working full time, I still find it necessary to get out of the house. And, now that the weather is turning cooler, I’m going to be doing it a lot more!

    Liked by 1 person

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